Little Guy: The First 3 Years

What a journey it has been creating this slide show. I started months ago setting aside the photos, adding more month by month ending with photos from the 3 year birthday party and first day of pre-school. Watching this, especially set to music, really highlights and puts emphasis on those wonderful moments over the last three years. It's a bittersweet emotion to watch your children grow up. You know they are going to, you know they have to, but something inside you makes you want to keep them little...even if only for a bit longer. As readers of this blog know, I've made it no secret that I tend to be in a bit of denial over my youngest baby leaving "babyhood". Hubby continues to remind me how important it is to enjoy every stage he is in... to enjoy every moment we have in our kid's lives. We love to take pictures and capture some of those moments and we're happy to share this little bit of our family with you.



Little Guy: The First 3 Years from Hannah Draga on Vimeo.

The police were here …again

It’s only been a little over a month since the police came out to our house as you may recall from the post: Honey, the police are here. Recently they were here again; however, no one was home at the time. Let me set the scene for you on this one: Imagine my horror upon arriving home from school with little guy, taking him back to his room to put him down for a nap before dashing back out to car to grab my Target purchases, then while checking the messages I notice a business card on the kitchen counter from the Police Dept. They left me a note saying a citizen had reported spotting someone in our yard that morning and they came over to check things out, found the back door unlocked and made sure no one was here. So, immediately I make sure little guy is safely in his crib and run around the house making sure no one actually is here. It did not appear that anything obvious was missing (like a TV or computer) so I felt fairly secure that we had not been robbed. But this was still really upsetting to think that someone had been here. I got a hold of the police department so they could fill me in on more details. Apparently, a lady who commutes to work on her bike was riding by when she spotted an individual coming out the back of our yard. Upon further clarification it was revealed that said individual was a white male, about 16-17 years of age, wearing shorts and carrying a back pack. And it was around 7:30 in the morning. Sounding a little familiar anyone? Um, could we be talking about Teenager here? But here’s the weird part: this person was wearing gloves, particularly green gloves. So from the perspective of the lady on the bike, all that was missing at this point was a ski mask because it looked pretty darn suspicious. When Teenager got home we immediately questioned him as to what “accessories” he might have been wearing that morning on his way to school. We found our culprit alright; the green gloves were his. Why was he wearing gloves in the heat of the summer you ask? Turns out, he’s a bit of a germaphobe and apparently the lock on the gate has bird poop on it. So he wears the gloves to avoid touching the bird poop. Perhaps you had to have been here to have heard this explanation from him, but frankly I can hardly control my laughter while typing this because it’s so ridiculously hilarious. Once again, I have a story that begs to be filed under the “I can’t make this stuff up” category. So the moral of the story is when you’re a teenager who goes out the back yard to walk to school in August for heaven’s sakes don’t wear gloves.

Moral Dilemma: Cell phones in public restrooms

So, you’re in a public restroom stall and hear the cell phone ring of the person next to you. Then they answer it and start talking.

Do you:

A) wait a moment before flushing because you know it will be a very loud public toilet flush?

~ or ~

B) purposely (and a little mischievously) flush right then while they’re talking because you know their caller will hear making it obvious they’ve answered their phone while in a restroom stall thereby creating a special little moment of hilarity in your otherwise humdrum day?

At least I'm not saying he's 1,095 days

The little guy is three years old. There. I said it. (Even though he’s 36 months.)

The "first three years" slide show is coming soon, but in the meantime I thought I'd share with you all a party post. We had a fabulous birthday party for the little guy and it looked like kids and adults alike really enjoyed themselves. The combination of a large group of toddlers being outdoors at a birthday party while hopped up on juice boxes and cupcakes makes for quite a wild event. See for yourself.

Bubbles were a hit. 

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Little Guy's Music therapist entertained the little ones.

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Fun and frivolity with the photo prop.

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Here's our "92 model" who was not only a good sport, but had a great time and helped out with a pack of crumb crunchers. Oh, and note that smile--the braces came off!

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Friends, food and fun!

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Anxiously awaiting cupcakes. He woke up the morning of his party and the first thing he said was "cupcake". He's been waiting for these things for weeks!

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It was worth the wait! The gourmet cupcakes were delicious! (we ordered them from a cupcake bakery.)

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So, Little guy is officially 3 years old. And if you think that’s hard for me to adjust to just wait….. because tomorrow he starts pre-school!

Trip through Napa Valley Whine Country

It’s a sad but true fact that we don’t get away much. At least not very far. We are blessed to live fairly close to numerous fun places that make good day trips and one of them is the Napa Valley area. As the days are getting numbered for our summer break together and Daddy had the time off work, we decided to head out to Wine country. The hubby and I have fond memories of this place as we spent some time there wine tasting during our engagement as well as a night of our honeymoon at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast Inn. The last time we were able to get away and do a B&B weekend (one of my favorite things) was Valentine’s day when I was pregnant; no wine tasting then, and none on this trip with the kids either. But, it was a perfect day weather-wise and we enjoyed seeing all the cute little shops and strolling down the street in St. Helena, one of my favorite towns in this area. We also visited the Culinary Institute of America, formerly the Christian Brothers Winery and Monastery (Factoid: During prohibition the Christian Brothers made sacramental wine.

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During our visit, we were informed they were shooting an episode of Emeril and therefore we needed to keep it quiet. Fortunately, the little guy managed to behave himself.

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There were numerous photo ops, as you can see.boys cia 041

We drove past Beringer Winery; the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley.

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Little guy got pretty restless during some parts, thus there was more whine than wine in this trip, but all in all it was a fun day.

We also had an additional passenger show up for part of the trip.

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On the way out of town while driving past some of the vineyards,

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Hubby pipes up with his recent idea to do his own vineyard on our hillside since we actually do have room. He’s mentioned this before because he’s always thought it would be “fun” to make our own wine. Of course, I’m thinking that “fun” translates into an awful lot of work keeping those grapevines alive in addition to learning how on earth to make wine.

Let’s face it; we all know that if we embarked on this adventure it would end up like this:

lucy grape stomp

The Pantry Project: Our Food gets a House

The hubby decided to take some of his vacation time off work to embark on a long overdue project; building a pantry.

The kitchen has always been my least favorite part of this house. It’s not that it’s horrible, but while many homes these days have large, square, gourmet kitchens with islands, we have a long, narrow, non-island, “one-butt” style kitchen. It’s also one of those unfortunate kitchens that contains just enough cabinets to hold things like dishes, serving ware, glasses, etc. and then leaves you scratching your head as to where to put the actual food. So for years we’ve done the “cram and stuff” routine with the one tall, skinny cabinet we had to hold food items. Then we got creative and started using a cabinet just outside the kitchen in the living room to hold canned goods. We eventually had to move into a portion of the linen closet down the hall to hold extra drinks, paper towels, etc. When things deteriorated into sliding food under the bed we knew it was time to do something. We fortunately had enough room in the corner of the kitchen to actually build a pantry, though it required removing a window and a long since unused doggie door. Hubby did the bulk of the work himself, hiring out only the parts that were beyond his level and better left to the pros. Here are some before and after shots, hubby doing the electrical work as well as showing off by sliding through the two-by-fours (did I mention he’s down a total of forty pounds? Sadly, his wife cannot claim a similar weight loss success.) Had he tried this move few months ago it would have looked like a re-enactment of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in the door to Rabbit’s house.

before pantry

hubby in pantryhubby in pantry iii

Here is the finished project.

Pantry

I am overjoyed at the idea of actually walking into my pantry to see and grab food off the shelf as well as put food on the shelf without any cramming, stuffing or swearing required.

Of course, in order to keep the little guy out of this thing which looks like a built-in playhouse to him, we now must call it the "Food House."

End of Summer Events

As our official summer (defined by summer break) winds down, we are in preparation for two big events around here; the start of school, and the little guy’s birthday. I can recall when I wrote this post about parents using months rather than years for their kids’s ages. When I wrote that my little guy was only just over a year old (which of course I referred to as 13 months.) My denial over my baby perhaps not being so much a baby any longer continues as he is now 35 months. I cannot even imagine saying “3” as in three years! Wow. To say the time has flown would be a major understatement. In honor of this big milestone I’m preparing a special slide show outlining his first 35-ish months of life and I’m hoping to post a version of it here on the blog. This of course will all be dependent upon whether or not I can don my techie hat and manage to get the thing to work, set it to music, etc. Unfortunately, I am just barely technologically inclined to be a danger to myself, but not so much as to actually accomplish things that need significant techie knowledge. In addition to slide show, I’m also thinking of posting my birth story since when the little guy was born this blog did not yet exist and so I never had a chance to share it. I’ve been inspired as I’ve read about others’ birth stories and think I might like to share mine. So we’ll see. In the meantime, we’re gearing up for his birthday as we have a big party planned. It’s actually been helpful to have this party to plan and look forward to because it’s forced us to get some things done around here that we otherwise might have taken our time to do and I have to say I’m really pleased with all we’ve accomplished! Okay, let me rephrase that, I’m pleased with all the Hubby has accomplished. It just amazes me some of the things he can do and he really enjoys doing lots of landscaping and making our yard more available for entertaining. I will have to take some photos and post them. As I think about my little guy's upcoming birthday I am trying to do what my husband always tell me when I get a little sad about our baby growing up and really try to focus on and enjoy every minute and every stage of his life. As I work on this slide show and see how he’s grown over the last few years it just amazes me. Stay tuned.

Three words every kid dreads

Although “clean your room” probably comes close, nothing strikes fear into the hearts of kids everywhere like the term; “Back to school.” Around here school starts ridiculously early…so early in fact that it even hits before the little guy's mid-August birthday. When people talk about going back to school and mention “in the Fall” in the same sentence it sounds pretty silly since this momentous event occurs during full-on Summer. So lately, just for fun, I’ve been harassing Teenager by mentioning the Back to school sales when I see an ad in the paper and talking about school supplies which were stocked at our local Target last month, in June, the month that school used to end in. Speaking of Back to School and school supplies, several years ago Staples did a commercial that I thought was hilarious. Here it is here for your viewing pleasure and please feel free to harass and taunt your own school aged children with it.

 

It was the flux capacitor

(To read the brief "prequel" to this story first, scroll down to the previous post or click here.)

The A/C repair guy finally made it here. We got lucky. Thankfully, it was not the compressor which would have meant waiting for a new one to be ordered.This was perhaps the fastest repair job in history. All it was is this:

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Within mere minutes cool air was once again blowing. Thank heaven for modern technology. And now I am only half as cranky as I was an hour ago.

Didn't we go through this exact same thing before?

Almost exactly this time last year our A/C went out. I remember writing about this in a whiny post here. Well, it's out again. And just like last year, it's triple digit weather. We are currently waiting for the repair guy and hoping it gets fixed quickly. It took days to repair last time and special parts had to be ordered. Let's hope this is not the case this time. There are two things that make me very, very cranky; being hot and being on a diet. So, I think you see what I'm saying here (hint: I'm hitting both of them at the same time.) I think Hubby might be spending a lot more time at the office.

Awkward Family Photo

Just because I love sharing a good laugh I’ve decided to post what could possibly be considered one of the most ridiculously awkward family photos in history.

Let me set the scene for you:
Circa 1970’s (that in and of itself makes for some serious hilarity), Dad had long ago lost his hair and thus, sported a toupee. Mom had the typical mom-do; sort of semi-beehive affair. And speaking of hair, this unfortunate family photo session took place just after I’d gotten into Dad’s hairpiece tape (not one of my better ideas) to secure a dress up wig to my head, not realizing that being bald is a prerequisite for using the tape, resuling in a forced “shag” haircut. Then you add the clothes….oh good grief the clothes…well, it was the seventies. Now since this is technically the only unveiling of a photo of yours truly (albeit a few years decades ago) I want to state that I look nothing like this today. Oh who am I kidding? Minus the seventies clothes this eerily reminds me of the time back in early 2000 when I got all my hair cut off because I thought I was “too old” for long hair.

So here you go folks…..

family photo

Good for all Boo Boo's

We have one of those little bears that holds an ice pack for various bumps and boo boo's.  Little guy appropriately calls this the "Boo Boo Bear" and whenever he falls, runs into something or even gets even the slightest bit banged up he cries and/or whimpers (depending on the severity of the incident) and calls for the Boo Boo Bear. We think this is pretty cute, even though he has been known on occasion to appear to take a tumble on purpose and ask for the Boo Boo Bear.  So, last night as Teenager went to hug his little brother goodnight, little guy looked at his older brother's acne speckled face, pointed and said: "Buhbuh! (his word for "brother") uh-oh, Boo Boo Bear!"  Yeah, when your two year old brother thinks you need his Boo Boo Bear, it might be prudent to step up your acne fighting routine.

Honey, the police are here...

This is not the thing you want to hear your spouse say when you're sitting around, minding your own business while enjoying a holiday weekend.  Mr. big, burly police officer showed up asking if we had kids and if they were ok. Apparently the police department had been getting 911 distress calls coming from an unknown number but tracing back to our house. So naturally we assumed the little guy had gotten a hold of a phone and somehow been dialing but this was not the case. After further investigation we found the source. The day before Teenager had been messing around with the settings on his cell phone and managed to lock himself out of his phone and render it inoperable. Well, inoperable except for emergency calls. He had no idea that this could happen and you know how your pants decide to call people? Well, his called the only phone number available; 911, and called it repeatedly.  Apparently police are able to track down where the number is coming from. They heard kids in the background (we were all outside playing) and came to check on us. We were naturally very surprised and apologized for the accidental calls but the police officer was very nice. We're pretty thankful to know our local police department is on top of their emergency calls...even pants calls.

Reflections on Diapers and Driver’s Licenses

I am the mother of a teenage son who now posses a Driver’s License. Good Lord help us all. Teenager took his classroom training in Driver’s Ed last summer during summer school as you may recall from this post. Although he was eligible to get his license 6 months after that we found it took considerable time to get in all the driving time requirements, complete the Behind the Wheel course (which you have to pay for) and also complete a Teen Driving Safety program with a parent. Hubby has been working diligently with him on all this over the course of the last year and when he first started going out with him for driving lessons he’d come back with eyes as big as saucers and looking a little pale. Teenager told me he’d hang onto the “chicken bar” while he sat nervously in the passenger seat. (And it’s here I should put in a public thank you to the Hubby for teaching Teenager to drive---all 50 hours-- because goodness knows I wouldn’t have made it!) So today Teenager drove solo for the very first time. He informed me just before leaving he had never been allowed/taught to back the car out of the garage. So, after instructing him on how to do this, I stood there in the garage, watching as my firstborn strapped on his seatbelt, started the ignition of the car and slowly backed out and drove off. Good grief, where has the time gone? Here he was, behind the wheel of the car, and he’s driving the thing. Wow. And yikes!

Speaking of kids growing up, the little guy is now less than two months away from turning three. How on earth can that be possible? I know I am in denial because in my mind “I just had a baby”. Okay, “I just had a baby a few months ago.” No? All right then, I had a baby exactly 34 months ago and I still have some of the baby weight. I know we have to start working diligently on potty training and I also know we have to ditch the nighttime binkie here pretty soon. But I’m having a huge crisis with all of this because at the same time he’s also going to need a bed before too much longer and so basically my diaper wearing, binkie sucking, crib sleeping baby will suddenly be wearing underwear and sleeping in a bed. Then he’ll be driving. And before you know it he’ll be off to college, never write, never call and I won’t like his girlfriend and…… I know, I know. It happens. Kids grow up-it’s inevitable. Like my Hubby says, you simply have to enjoy the stages they are in and enjoy every minute of it.

Renaissance Faire

I thought I would share a few photos from our latest Renaissance Faire adventure. Hubby decided to use his creative talents to retro-fit a wagon to house the little guy in Renaissance style. I was very impressed with the outcome!

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It was also quite helpful to have Teenager to pull this thing around!

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 DSC01836 Daddy & Little Guy

The wagon was painted a pretty sage green and Hubby was able to cleverly attach a bicycle basket to the back for storage (it's all about the storage for me!) He even made roll down sides to close it off for possible napping purposes. I made a cushion-ey pad for the inside and had it all set up so little guy could lay down and take a nap after lunch while we strolled around the faire. This never happened, as you might imagine. I guess I was being ridiculously optimistic!  Still though,  a great time was had by all!

Those were the days

We all know the importance of drinking water. I've been carrying around a water bottle pretty much everywhere since I learned this in Weight Watcher's for not only weight loss but general health as well.  I'm pretty good about drinking my water but there are times when I get tired of "plain 'ol water" and yearn for something a little tastier. Of course I do not want added calories and I've never been a soda drinker because to me it's just a bunch of calories I can easily avoid and use somewhere else; like good food or the occasional treat. I cannot stand diet soda or diet anything really; I think the chemical sweeteners aka "sugar substitutes" are essentially poison and we keep all those products out of our home. (I could do another whole post on that subject alone.) So lately I've discovered something new at my friendly neighborhood Target; their Archer Farms brand water with flavor. I almost passed right on by this little gem at first because if you've ever looked at those flavored waters most are either loaded with sugar or made with chemical sweetener in order to be zero calories. But this stuff is totally natural; no sugar, no artificial sweetener or artificial flavor, just a natural flavor added to the water without any type of sweetener. They have various fruit flavors like mango, passion fruit, starfruit, etc. and recently I discovered cucumber. This sounded good because I've often enjoyed water with a slice of cucumber and have noticed more places doing this these days such as the salon I get my once-in-a-blue-moon pedicure at for example. So I bought some, cracked open a cucumber flavor in the car the other day while out with the family and handed it to the hubby to taste without telling him what flavor it was. I started explaining that it was this naturally flavored water I found at Target, etc. etc. I asked him what he thought and he looked kind of confused at first, smacked his lips a couple times and then stated it had an "interesting aftertaste". I said; "Oh? What does it taste like?"  He replied; "Old hose."  Of course I instantly knew just what he meant. Back in the day, as kids playing outside on a summer day when we got thirsty we'd simply skip over to the 'ol garden hose and drink from it. Of course this was before we knew it was full of toxins and long before the days of every man, woman and child carrying around their own personal "hydration vessel".

Naturally, we now have a family joke about this stuff referring to it "hose water". Sounds like a great "retro" marketing plan; adults everywhere can relive the old familiar taste of childhood and summer. Hose water. Ah, the memories.

I know the economy is bad, but this is ridiculous

Over the last couple weeks I've had several occasions to visit a local coffee shop that I haven't frequented in the past. They've got me coming back due to a really yummy yogurt parfait that's small and low in calories--a fact that's totally unimportant to the story. First let me say this is a small place and they offer Free Wi-Fi. The first time I was there a couple weeks ago I was meeting a friend for coffee. While waiting I noticed a man, casually dressed, sitting at one of the tables. I took notice because he had one of the "good" tables that had the nice upholstered chairs, three of them to be exact, and he was taking up a spot complete with his laptop, briefcase, cell phone and other equipment actually plugged into the wall behind him. His cup of coffee was sitting on the table next to him. I thought to myself that it was a bit over-the-top for one person to take over this much room, chairs, etc, and obviously he'd decided to use the place as his own personal office complete with free Wi-Fi access. But here's the kicker folks; every time I've been there since I've seen this same guy with the same set up sitting there. And it gets worse....the last time I was in, I kid you not, I noticed his stuff sitting in his "spot" and a minute later saw him come out of the restroom carrying his bottle of contact lens solution. Frankly, I'm afraid to go back because I just know he'll come stumbling out of the men's room with a towel over his shoulder, toothbrush and razor in hand while wearing boxer shorts.

What do you get when you combine Father's Day with...

a Dad, a Teenager, and a little guy along with a fun-loving SAHM, mix in a sale at Old Navy and add a fair amount of geeky-ness?

THIS:

 

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Yeah, we're pretty silly and we're not ashamed of it. Hey, you think this is something just wait until Halloween!

A Father’s Day Tribute

I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile now and thought Father’s Day would be the perfect time.

Father’s Day has been an emotional mixed bag for me personally for many years. My own father has been gone twelve years now. Sadly, I never had a very close relationship with him. He was a much older Dad and I don’t feel he was really up for doing the “Dad thing” by the time I came along in his life. He and my mother divorced when I was twelve and I didn’t see him for many years. Once I graduated high school I went to spend the summer with him. Since by this time I was more “grown up” we did have a pretty good relationship so I was thankful for that time we had together. I saw him only a handful of times after that (he would not travel to come see us) until he died. Although he did get to meet his grandson (the now Teenager) when he was only a little over a year old, he never got to meet the little guy since he came along much later in life.

Now, celebrating Father’s day has extra special meaning in our household. My husband was always described by friends and family as the “dad type”, yet he had no children. By the time he hit age 42 (just before we met) I think he’d come to the conclusion that children were just not in the cards for him. Then he marries a thirty-something year old woman with a twelve year old son. He wanted to be a parental figure in my son’s life and at the time no one knew just how important that would be. My oldest son, [whom I refer to as “Teenager” on this blog] was the unfortunate victim of not only his parents' divorce, but years of completely insane custody and court battles that ensued once his father remarried and effectively stopped being a “Dad” to him. So, the hubby decides he needs to bring his A-game and do all he can for this boy who really needs another parental figure in his life. From day one, Hubby has treated Teenager like his own son and stepped up to the plate to be an active parent. I have to give him the credit he so richly deserves for taking on this challenging but critical role and being willing to do all he does for a child not even his own. Here’s an interesting little tidbit; Teenager and Hubby share the very same first name. What an ironic coincidence. Of course, people just assume Teenager is a “Junior” and that notion has been just fine by both Teenager and Hubby.

When the little guy came along just nine and a half months after Hubby and I married, we really felt a complete-ness to our family. By this time, Hubby was already a dad, but now he had a son of his very own as well. We say he’s got one son with his name and the other one with his face. Raising the little guy thus far has been challenging for sure. Hubby comes home from work [right around the time I’m at the end of my rope] and spends quality time with his youngest son and is a fully participating Daddy. I could not do it without him. Some days I am not quite sure how I’ll even make it through the day until he gets home and I’ll be honest-- there’s been more than a few calls to his office over the years begging asking him to come home early.

As a Father’s Day tribute to my husband, I want to thank and praise him for everything he does and for all the effort he puts into parenting. He takes his Dad role seriously. I know he knows not only what a blessing it is to be a Dad but to have been given that opportunity later in life when it looked like he might not have it at all. He is determined to be the best Dad he can possibly be. He realizes from his own experiences how important it is to be an active Dad, to spend time with his kids, to try to be patient, to talk to them and really learn about and understand them as well as teach and guide and them and have meaningful conversations rather than just superficial ones. Being a Father I’m sure carries a lot of stress for a man; the heavy responsibility of providing for your family especially when you are the main breadwinner and all the other tasks and trials that go along with the job. Raising kids is tough as it is and I cannot thank my husband enough for being willing to take on the additional challenges of our situation and to have done so with such determination, understanding, courage and love.

A couple years ago Teenager gave Hubby a plaque for Father’s Day that pretty well sums it up:

"Any man can be a Father. It takes someone special to be a Dad."

Happy Father’s Day to my hubby

and to Dads everywhere

groomsmen daddy & baby

Little Guy meets the Old Navy Mannequins

 

I've made fun of the mannequins in a previous post due to their inherent creepiness. However, while on a shopping trip at my local Old Navy recently I could not resist this photo op:

 

Little Guy and the ON Mannequins

Overheard at Costco

The hubby and I were shopping at Costco the other day picking up a few basics. We've been pretty happy with their various selections of gourmet coffee available in bags as it's generally very good and a great price as well. We overheard a man talking to his wife (loudly) while in the coffee aisle; he stated he didn't think he wanted to buy one of the varieties of bagged coffee as he wasn't sure what would be good and made the comment that he didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of coffee he didn't like. To our amusement, a couple minutes later we spotted him picking up a big can of Folger's. Apparently he's not that much of a coffee connoisseur after all.

The Mystery behind the Mayhem

A recent comment about the absence of my photo made me think about how I am probably somewhat of a mystery to those readers who don’t know me in real life. Actually, that would be the majority of my audience since there are only a very select few who know me and also know about and read this blog. On the surface SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem may look like your average, garden variety “mommy blog”. After all, I’m a stay at home mom with two kids and daily stress, fun, humor and hilarious happenings to share with my readers. But I think what is most interesting is not so much what may be going on right at the moment (though there are plenty interesting stories to share there, too) but what has occurred in the past and led up to this point. As I’ve previously mentioned, having hit the forty year mark (which I did last year) gives me some history. It’s that history that fuels who I am and how I think and act today. I’ve been trying to figure out how to share some of these stories and weave them into this blog. It’s been challenging because a blog is usually more about current happenings than past events. But I didn’t write a blog (nor was the Internet invented) back when I went through some of my most interesting life experiences. And by “interesting” I mean; controversial, intriguing, harrowing and ridiculous. I’ve found it hard to get on a roll with this because it seems awkward somehow to post about my summer happenings one day and the next tell you about that time in the eighties when I spent the holidays in a military barracks. But I started this blog thinking it would be a good place to tell the tales that just beg to be told. Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a Girls Night Out or at someone’s Pampered Chef/Cookie Lee/Mary Kay party and ended up being asked about that time I [fill in the blank with intriguing incident here] and had people telling me I really should write all this down/start a blog/ tell Oprah on national television/write a book. Of course I can’t guarantee that all these stories will come across as fascinating in writing as they did while telling them verbally and with wine, but we’ll see how it goes.

The “stories from the past posts” will basically be like SAHM: The Prequel. So stay tuned. Tell your friends. And link up to the blog. Because really, don’t you want to be able to say you have been reading this blog since way before the author became famous and then everyone started reading it? Of course you do.

So far this summer...

I've managed to capture in just one photo what little guy, Teenager and myself have been doing on summer break.

Summer Break '09

The Fur was Flying

There was way too much excitement around here for early on a Saturday morning. The little guy let us "sleep in" until 7am and we no sooner made it out to the kitchen when our dog Murray started barking up a storm. Now, Murray does tend to woof at various unessential things from time to time as we've heard plenty of barking when a squirrel just happened to walk by. This time he was up on the hill and staring towards our neighbors to the side of us when we saw him and he was too high up there for us to tell what was going on. So we sent Teenager up to investigate.  We couldn't tell what was going on because Teenager disappeared behind our big oak tree but we heard him asking Murray what was wrong. We then heard more barking and next saw Murray dart across the back of the hill. Just then we could clearly see that he was in hot pursuit of a Siamese cat who we assume belongs to our neighbors on the other side. I flew open the door and yelled at Murray not to eat the cat and to leave her alone. The poor cat hissed at him and took a swing with her kitty paw as Murray lost his balance while attempting to chase her down the steep and rocky hill. This gave the cat just enough time to dart through an apparent hole in our fence [that we didn't know existed] and make it safely back home.  Now, the interesting thing here is that Murray lives with a cat; his "sister" Chloe. In fact, he not only lives with her and pals around with her all day but the two of them are practically joined at the hip and even sleep snuggled up in his doghouse together. We had Chloe long before Murray came along and in fact when I brought Murray home he spent the first half hour attempting to chase and eat the cat. I was told that in order to train him I needed to tell him "No" and squirt him in the nose with a water bottle every time he went for her. I could not believe this worked, but it did. That very first day they learned to live together and tolerate each other. I have no idea when they became so tight, but it's been a long time now. So, apparently according to Murray, the rules are; "we don't eat cats who are family, but the neighbor cats are fair game".

I think we've now solved the mystery as to why Chloe never has any friends over.

Murray & Chloe